6 questions about the future of the British Monarchy

21 August 2013 - 08:22pm
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As the world welcomes Prince George, we take this opportunity to look at six things about the future of the Monarchy, near and distant.

When Prince Harry marries, what would be his and his wife’s title?

origin_8724901892When Prince Harry does eventually marry, it is highly likely he’ll be given a Dukedom like his brother Prince William (Duke of Cambridge). There is speculation about which Dukedom Prince Harry would be given with some sources reporting that the Dukedom of Sussex has actually been ‘reserved’ for the 5th-in-line. There are a whole list of possible Dukedoms available including the Dukedoms of Albany, Connaught, Clarence, and even Windsor amongst the options.

There is also a small chance that a title could perhaps be withheld until the Dukedom of York becomes available (traditional title for 2nd son of the Sovereign).

What will our next 3 Kings be called on the throne?

large_5907408758Monarchs have the facility to choose their own regnal name when they come to the throne, this can be different to their own first name. Our present Queen chose to be known as Elizabeth, which was also her first name as a Princess. Her father was known as Prince Albert but chose the name George when he became King.

It is expected that the next three Kings in line to the throne (Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George) will choose their own names as Kings because of their existing connection with the monarchy. Prince Charles is expected to reign as ‘King Charles III’, Prince William as ‘King William V’ and Prince George as ‘King George VII’. They could, of course, choose to reign under different names but as it stands, this is the most likely arrangement.

Will things be drastically different when the Prince of Wales comes to the throne?

large_5668650825When a new Monarch accedes to the throne, there can be a difficult and sensitive period during the transition which will seem strange to many, particularly because Queen Elizabeth has reigned for so long that it’s difficult to imagine anyone else as our sovereign. Prince Charles’s accession to the throne will be automatic when Queen Elizabeth II dies. Shortly after his accession, he and his wife will move into Buckingham Palace – he will be known as His Majesty The King and his wife Camilla as Her Majesty The Queen (there’s some debate as to whether she’ll assume the title of Princess Consort, though many experts denounce this suggestion as highly unlikely because of the lack of precedent).


Other minor things will begin to change including the cypher on post boxes (new ones being imprinted with C III R instead of E II R) and the face on banknotes and coins changing (both of these changes will happen over time and old ones will not be withdrawn from circulation, but rather old and new would circulate together with old gradually being removed in the normal way for coins and banknotes). Names such as Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs would become His Majesty’s Revenue and Customs also.

The national anthem will also change from God Save The Queen [back] to God Save The King.

What will happen if The Queen lives to celebrate 70 years on the throne?

large_2316585991On 6th February 2022, The Queen would celebrate 70 years on the throne, she would be 95-years-old. The anniversary of 70 years on the throne would be called a Platinum Jubilee and would probably be celebrated in much the same way as the Diamond Jubilee was in 2012 if not more because of the longevity of her reign.

Unless the present King of Thailand celebrates a Platinum Jubilee, Queen Elizabeth might be the first Monarch in history to celebrate (as in mark the occasion of) a Platinum Jubilee.

If he also lived that long, Prince Philip would be 100 years old, turning 101 in 2022.

Prince Charles would be 73 and Prince William would be 39.

What would happen if Prince Charles died before The Queen?

RAF Flypast over Royal Wedding of Prince William & Catherine Middleton

If Prince Charles died before The Queen then Prince William would become heir to the throne. This would mean he would become the next Sovereign after The Queen died. Whilst heir in this situation, he may be made Prince of Wales (though perhaps unlikely) but would not qualify to become Duke of Cornwall because the Dukedom of Cornwall is only automatically assumed by the heir to the throne who is also the eldest son of the Monarch.

It is not true that Prince Andrew would become the next King – he is currently 6th in line to the throne. Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Harry would have to be Sovereign or die first.

Will The Duchess of Cornwall and The Duchess of Cambridge ever be Queens?

HRH Prince Chares with HRH Camilla Duchess of Cornwall at Armed Forces Day in EdinburghYes, when Prince Charles becomes King, Camilla (known currently as the Duchess of Cornwall) will become Queen Camilla (known more fully as Her Majesty The Queen or  just The Queen). There is some debate as to whether Camilla might be made Princess Consort instead of being Queen, though this argument has been rejected by many experts who say not only is there no precedent for it.

However, if the new King (Prince Charles) expresses preference for this upon his accession, then Camilla can simply be known as the Princess Consort with no legal changes necessary.

When Prince William accedes to the throne, his wife Catherine (currently known as the Duchess of Cambridge) would become Her Majesty Queen Catherine.

photo credits: Glyn Lowe Photoworks, 1 Million Views, Thanks, Jason Simpson, , Michael Gwyther-Jones and Defence Images via photopin cc

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  • Bill Foley

    I don’t know if King Louis XIV of France ever celebrated a Platinum Jubilee but he reigned for 72 years. Long enough for a Platinum Jubilee. If Her Majesty does live long enough for her Platinum Jubilee (God Willing), I do not think that they would have the celebrations like they did on her 6oth. Depending on her health that might be too much stress for her.

    • CliveNgill Hicks

      I guess the french don’t count!

      • Susie Que

        Why would they?

      • Bruce Alan Wilson

        Different countries, different customs.

    • robert

      I was surprised by the assertion that no monarch in history has reigned 70 years. Surely an institution that has existed throughout the world for over ten thousand years has had at least ONE to pass that milestone. If they meant British history, that is true.

      • Louis E.

        The most recent 70-year monarch in Europe was Prince Johann of Liechtenstein (reigned 1858-1929).

    • Orchard 10

      AFAIK Platinum hadn’t been discovered in Louis XIV reign.

  • bobby

    If and when Prince Harry becomes Duke of York (given that Prince Andrew dies before Prince Harry gets married), would Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie remain as Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie or York? Given that these two remained unmarried?

    • Royal Central

      In that circumstance, yes Princess Beatrice and Eugenie would remain as ‘of York’ as titles are held for life and aren’t necessarily affected by the death of a parent.

      • Dominic

        If perhaps the Duke of York were to have a son would the title still pass to the son ? Or would the son have to take a lesser title like earl since he is so far from the crown now ? It doesn’t make sense to me how titles like Dukedom of York can typically be for 2nd sons when the 2nd son is so likely to have his own son who inherits a title.

        • Royal Central

          No, the title would pass to Andrew’s son, who’d also be an HRH. Usually, the title holder has died heirless so the title reverts to the crown and can be issued to a new generation. Only convention says Dukedom of York is for second sons, nothing in law.

          • Louis E.

            Queen Victoria made her second son Duke of Edinburgh despite York having been vacant.If the new infant expected in April is a boy he might get dibs on York.If Prince Edward could be Earl of Wessex,maybe Prince Henry will be Marquess of Mercia…but Sussex,Clarence,Kendal,and Windsor are all traditionally Royal and currently vacant dukedoms,while Albany and Cumberland are suspended since 1917 but have heirs who could ask to be restored.

          • Ricky

            There’s no chance of any new royal babies getting the title Duke of York as long as Prince Andrew is alive; there can only be one living holder of any title.

            It’s my understanding that The Queen had originally intended to give Prince Edward the title Duke of Cambridge when he married. He received the title Earl of Wessex instead because he requested it, after seeing a film that had a character with that title.

            It’s doubtful Prince Harry would receive anything less than a dukedom when he marries, since this has been the tradition for a long time. However, if he asked Her Majesty for something different, she would probably accommodate him.

            I think the title Duke of Sussex would be a good choice, and the most likely title. I think It’s especially appropriate to give Harry a title that has “sex” in it!

          • Louis E.

            I’m well aware that there wouldn’t be two Dukes of York at once…a second son of William has a better chance of reaching adulthood after Andrew’s death than does his Uncle Harry.

            It’s only in the current reign that sons of the Sovereign have had to wait until marriage for their ducal creations.

          • Ricky


          • Bruce Alan Wilson

            I read that part of the idea is that after Phillip’s death he can become Duke of Edenborough.

          • Ricky

            The intention is that Prince Edward will take the title Duke of Edinburgh after Prince Philip’s death.

            I’ve also read from multiple sources about another event supposedly on hold until after Philip’s demise.

            People close to the Duke and Duchess of York say they would like to remarry, but this is impossible while Philip is alive. The Duke of Edinburgh despises his former daughter-in-law, and is baffled by the way Andrew has always stood by his ex-wife after the scandals of the 1990’s.

            Her Majesty has invited Sarah for a few recent visits to Balmoral, but they’re always scheduled to happen when Philip’s away. Any remarriage will have to wait until the Duke of Edinburgh goes to that “palace in the sky.”

          • lallala

            Yes, same with Charles and Camilla. They had to wait until the old Queen Mother has passed too to get married. She was anti-divorced. As both Charles and Camilla were both divorced from their first marriages.

          • whatever

            Prince Edward was created Earl of Wessex with the understanding that upon the death of his father, he would receive the title Duke of Edinburgh. Prince Charles and The Duke of Cambridge are also in agreement. At the rate the Duke of Edinburg his going the title might never pass.

          • lallala

            him and the queen are on a roll ! lol

          • lallala

            Dirty Harry lol

          • newvillefan

            Andrew doesn’t have a son.

          • lallala

            in tradition i don’t think the current duke of york to pass on the title. only monarch can give their second son the duke of york title. i could be mistaken though…

          • http://www.royalcentral.co.uk Royal Central

            The Dukedom of York was granted like any other peerage (by letters patent). It stipulates that the title was granted to Prince Andrew and “the heirs male of his body lawfully begotten” so if the Duke has a son, his title would be inherited by him.

          • Bruce Alan Wilson

            Not now. But if he were to re-marry and father one. . . .

          • lallala

            what would happen when Charles becomes King and Andrew is still alive? Wouldn’t Harry take the tittle Duke of York (if he’s married by then) since that title is traditionally given to the second son of the monarch?

          • Ricky

            Your take is correct. Only one thing will change for the other men you wrote about when the Prince of Wales becomes King Charles III.

            HRH Prince Harry, in addition to his dukedom, will be entitled to the word “the” in front of his name. Only a child of a monarch is entitled to this designation. He’ll be “HRH The Prince Henry, Duke of Sussex” (hypothetical dukedom).

        • robert

          Yes. The Duchies of Kent and Gloucester, granted to sons of George V, are continuing, and will as long as they have sons.

    • Susie Que

      Harry will not be given the title Duke of York, that stays with Andrew’s family

      • Amanda

        Prince Andrew doesn’t have any sons, though. If he passes away, the title becomes free because he doesn’t have a male heir to carry it on. It’s a bit archaic for today’s world, but titles can’t be passed through girls.

        • Bruce Alan Wilson

          SOME titles can; it depends on the wording of the grant.

          • Louis E.

            I’m a bit disappointed that Andrew’s and Edward’s patents did not allow for female successors.

          • Bruce Alan Wilson

            Did they? Some allow for a female successor in default of a (surviving) son.

            I don’t know either way; that’s why I am asking.

          • Louis E.

            Both of them have the heirs-male remainder standard for UK peerages…the London Gazette announces this as creations are made.

    • robert

      Considering Andrew’s age, it would be rather odd to make Harry wait for his death to receive a dukedom. Considering the recent efforts to modernize the monarchy, perhaps a new dukedom will be created. Duke of Milton Keynes?

    • Ricky

      I hope the Duke of York’s death is a long ways off, since he’s the same age as me!

  • Susie Que

    This article is wrong, the Queen decreed that upon the marriage of Charles and Camilla, if and when he becomes King Camilla will NOT be given the title of Queen, she will get the title Princess Consort. Period.

    • Royal Central

      Firstly, The Queen did not ‘decree’ this, it was the Prince of Wales’s office that said this was ‘the intention’. Automatically, she WILL become Queen – it would require an act of Parliament to legally change her title – no such act exists.

      • Ricky

        Even if someone introduced this kind of legislation after Charles’ accession, it would still require Royal Assent if it was passed by Parliament. Although this is mostly a formality, who would dare ask Charles to sign such a document?

        • Louis E.

          Practically,it would be passed only if he asked for it,so there would be no question of his reluctance.

        • Bruce Alan Wilson

          And it would have to be agreed upon by the other 15 Realms.

      • David Pollock

        It will also require and Act of Parliament for a divorcee with a living ex-spouce to ascend. Camilla’s ex is still living. This is likely why she will only get the title Princess Consort. I am prepared to be corrected on this, but this is what I understand to be fact based on talk when they got married.

        • Royal Central

          Camilla won’t ascend to the throne, Prince Charles will – Camilla will be the consort and there’s no need for legislation to effect this as her position reflects that of her husband. To my certain knowledge, the talk of ‘Princess Consort’ was based solely on trying to quell negative public opinion, not due to any legal issues.

          • MV

            The royal website http://www.royal.gov.uk/thecurrentroyalfamily/theprinceofwales/theprinceofwales.aspx states that she will have the title “Princess Consort”, not “Queen”.

          • Royal Central

            By virtue of Prince Charles’s accession to the throne, Camilla will immediately become Her Majesty The Queen – it would require an act of Parliament to change her title to Princess Consort; no such act has been passed.

          • jamiroquoi

            My understanding is that she will be the Queen, but may style herself differently. So unless Parliament acts she will be “Queen” regardless of whatever she is called in practice, be it Princess, Princess Consort, the Cheshire Cat, or a ham sandwich.

          • Bruce Alan Wilson

            That’s for a Queen Consort to be crowned, anointed, and take the Coronation Oath along with her husband. Not all Queens Consort have done such. (Queen Caroline, for example, didn’t.)

          • robert

            There is only ONE throne, irrespective of the status of the Sovereign’s consort. The ONLY member of the royal family mentioned in Law is the Sovereign. The only exception in history is when Mary II insisted on her husband (William III) being proclaimed King. By tradition, the wife of the King is deemed Queen Consort. The British Succession does not acknowledge such a thing as morganatic marriages. And rightly so.

  • Arsalan Zaman Khan

    Little old Bill is just in his early 30s. He is not likely to wait more than 2 decades to have his crown. But the question is that will Britain accept a monarch in 2035. It just might if the Royal family work well in the media to keep their image pristine. Another royal wedding will certainly help.

    • lallala


  • Maria Estrella Brual Militsala

    Good luck <3

  • Ricky

    In the even of Prince Charles’ death happening before the Queen’s, who would administer the Duchy of Cornwall’s affairs? Without a living Duke of Cornwall to manage things, I wondered to whom this duty would fall.

    • cdfbrown

      Like any other vacant title, it would revert to the crown.

    • Bruce Alan Wilson

      If Charles should pre-decease the Queen, Camilla as Dowager Dutchess will be entitled to 1/3 of the Duchy of Cornwall revenues for her lifetime. William would succeed to his father’s titles and would be entitled to the rest of the Cornwall revenues.

      • Ricky

        If Charles died before The Queen, William would never be eligible to be created Duke of Cornwall. That title is reserved for the eldest son of the monarch.

        • Keldon McFarland

          So much confusion…I’m glad our Founding Fathers gave us the No Nobility Clause, US Constitution Article I, Sec 9, Clause 8.

          • Bruce Alan Wilson

            However, descendants of Kingdom of Hawai’i nobility can still use their titles; also, one sometimes runs into an heir to a French or Spanish title in Louisiana or Texas.

          • Keldon McFarland

            I’m pretty sure those guys–desendents of the Hawaiian Royal family, odds and ends of kooks claiming that they are descended from French or Spanish royalty in the US–are, at best, considered “pretenders”.
            I was stationed in Hawaii and visited the Hawaiian Royal Palace. They sent a representative, as a royal family, to the coordination of Victoria. I wouldn’t have thought that.

          • Bruce Alan Wilson

            Yes, Dowager Queen Emma, Princess (later Queen) Lydia Lilliulalani, and Princess Victoria Kulani attended the Diamond Jubilee. As a matter of fact, at the state banquet the Crown Prince of Germany (the future Kaiser Wilhelm III) refused to escort Princess L. in to dinner because she wasn’t white, so Queen Victoria asked her own eldest son, the Prince of Wales, to do it. A nice ‘take that’, as it raised the Hawai’ian Princess’ social status a great deal.

            They enrolled Princess Victoria in a British boarding school before returning to the islands.

      • Louis E.

        Charles currently holds no titles that William can succeed to on his death.Duke of Cornwall is reserved for someone who is both Heir Apparent and eldest son of the Monarch,while Prince of Wales and Earl of Chester are given together as a life creation.Duke of Rothesay and Earl of Carrick likewise attach to one person.

        If Prince Philip dies before the Queen,Charles becomes Duke of Edinburgh,Earl of Merioneth,and Baron Greenwich,and if Charles then died before the Queen William could inherit those titles (he would then be known as “Duke of Edinburgh and Cambridge” until the Queen created him Prince of Wales…King George III did in fact inherit the Dukedom of Edinburgh in 1751 before being made Prince of Wales by his grandfather George II).The Queen’s death would make all those titles merge in the Crown,the promise was made that when the Dukedom of Edinburgh merged in the Crown it would be recreated for the present Earl of Wessex (probably not with subsidiary titles since the titles the Earl already has would suffice).

  • Dave

    Why would a remarriage between Andrew not happen while Prince Philip is alive? Elizabeth is the monarch, not Philip? Or am I missing something?

    • Dave

      I meant between Andrew and Sarah

      • Josh Kusiak

        he already expands it

    • Ricky

      Queen Elizabeth II is the monarch and has all the authority in matters concerning the throne and her role as Head of State. This is indisputable.

      But when it comes to family issues, Prince Philip is the boss. It’s been this way since their children were born, and behind the scenes his word is law.

      I’ve read many reports that indicate Her Majesty has softened her stance toward the Duchess of York in recent years, but the Duke of Edinburgh still can’t stand her.

      I don’t mean to imply that I have any special insight into Andrew and Sarah’s plans, since I’ve never met them. But when many different sources agree on something, there’s usually some truth to it.

      • Keldon McFarland

        Wow! So he does wear the pants in the family! I wondered what his role was in all of this.

  • Anita Oleksy

    What would be Prince Phillip’s title should Queen Elizabeth die first? Certainly there is no such thing as “King Father” or “Dowager King”!

    • Ricky

      He would remain what he is now;
      His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.
      (along with all his subsidiary titles)

    • Keldon McFarland

      As a Downton Abby fan from across the Pond, I wondered the same thing my self. (After watching the series I brushed up on my British monarchy history and the lengthy titles, families that are intertwined throughout Europe.)

  • Keldon McFarland

    What are the odds that HRH Charles, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall and the rest…, would chose the regnal name to Arthur?! Would he be King Arthur I or II? How well would that improve his image? It’d probably help.

    • Ricky

      Very slim odds, I think. He could choose any of his names; Charles, Philip, Arthur, or George upon his accession to the throne.

      If he chose to be “King Arthur,” there wouldn’t be any roman numerals, since he would be the first King with that name. (There’s no concrete proof that a real King Arthur ever lived.) If he chose that name, he would only be referred to as King Arthur I if there was ever a King Arthur II later on.

      There have been a few articles saying Prince Charles intends to take the regnal name of George VII, in honour of his late grandfather. There’s been no official confirmation of this, and I think it’s just a fantasy cooked up to sell newspapers.

      • Keldon McFarland

        I meant most of that as a joke. I know that King Arthur is probably not real and is not recognized as a king in any of the official records going back to Æthelstan. (But a real King Arthur would be really cool. )
        Seriously though, would taking the name Charles recokon back too far in history? I’d buy the ‘King George VII’ theory due to his grandfather and now with his grandson, by circa 2070, there could be a King George VIII.

  • Joshua Gonzales

    Will Prince George of Cambridge be crowned King even if he is just a toddler and her mother Catherine be Queen Regent in the event Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Charles and Duke William all die?

    • Ricky

      If the Queen, the Prince of Wales, and the Duke of Cambridge were all to die, Prince George would become King, regardless of his age. Someone in the family would be named regent, perhaps Prince Andrew.

      There’s no way Catherine could ever become Queen Regnant. She’s royal by marriage, and will become Queen Consort when William becomes King.

      • Holly Wolfe

        Regent more likely Henry as he’s next adult in line?

  • Josh Kusiak

    It just a title and there old so it not liek you have it for long

  • P William K C I

    Well if Prince Charles dies before Queen Elizabeth II it is most likely that Prince William will become heir and the first in line.But,the Queen may make Prince Andrew the first in line placing all the descendants of Prince Charles to such a line which everyone believes that he she will not become a monarch.And as far as I think Prince Charles will come as King Charles III and Prince William as King Calvin I which is one of his favourite names as discussed.Prince George is likely to come as King George VII

    • Ricky

      If Prince Charles dies before Queen Elizabeth II, Prince William would definitely become heir to the throne. The rules of succession are quite firm, and Her Majesty cannot choose who succeeds her the way some of the Arab monarchies do.

      In order for Prince Andrew to be the Queen’s immediate successor, Prince Charles, Prince William, Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Harry would all have to predecease her. That’s extremely unlikely, so Andrew has almost no chance of being King.

      I’d be interested to know more about why you think Prince William will choose the regnal name of King Calvin, since it’s not one of his names.

  • Rob Smith

    Let’s address these questions in order. 1: When Prince Harry Marries, what will his and his wife’s title be? I don’t think that the Duke of Sussex has the ring to it that Harry deserves. The Duke of Albany or Connaught would be more apt – especially given the relationship between the Duke of Connaught and the Great War. The best option would be the Duke of Clarence, given HRH The Prince of Wales’ relationship with the Queen Mother. The Duke of Windsor is a big NO-NO, given what happened with HM King Edward viii
    2: What will our next 3 kings be called? Not a case of what they will be called. It’s what they should be called. Prince Charles should adopt the title of King George VII. By adopting Charles III he is kowtowing to Parliament – to a time when parliament flexed their muscles and executed our monarch. William will be William V. His son will be King George VIII.
    3: What will happen if the Queen lives for 70 years on the throne? She might well do that. And if she does? Fantastic. She will be our monarch, if anything like her mother, in full charge of her faculties.
    4: If HRH The Prince of Wales dies before the Queen? Highly unlikely given the advances in modern medicine. However, we will probably end up with a situation similar to his majesty King Edward VII (1901 – 1910). If Charles does die before the queen, then the Duke of Cambridge will become King William V.
    5: Will Camilla or Kate Middleton ever become queen? The simple answer is not yes or no. It is that they should be. In the case of the Duchess of Cornwall, she has handled herself with pride; with such an elegance despite taking an extraordinary amount of (unnecessary) abuse from the press; in fact anybody who hasn’t the slightest ounce of intelligence. If they did they did, they would understand the sacrifices that this woman has made to be with the man she loves. HRH has made similar sacrifices. Charles took a massive risk marrying a divorcee. Lest we forget that David (Prince of Wales) had to give up his throne for the love of Wallis Simpson. I would not have a problem with Queen Camilla or Queen Katherine.
    What I do have a problem with is Parliament deciding the future of our monarchy. I have a massive problem with parliament now having the same thing that they wanted to wrestle from Charles I between 1642 – 1651: The divine right to rule. Successive governments since then have proven themselves to be more corrupt and oppressive than King Charles I ever was. Let’s face it, the vile man whose statue now stands proudly outside the houses of Parliament (Cromwell) even had himself crowned Lord Protector. MPs see him as the “father of democracy”,. He was, in my view, the 17th Century’s answer to Tony Blair.
    God save the Queen.
    God save the monarchy from idiots

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